Governor Sisolak Sends Letter Asking NSHE to Assist Students Impacted by Federal Shutdown

January 14, 2019

Governor Sisolak today sent a letter to the Nevada System of Higher Education asking that they work with any student directly impacted by the partial federal government shutdown to ensure students approaching second-semester fees and tuition deadlines are not discouraged or prevented from continuing their studies. The letter, addressed to Chancellor Thom Reilly and Chair Kevin Page, asks NSHE to find a temporary solution to allow these students to continue their education this semester uninterrupted.

The full text of the letter to NSHE is below:

January 13, 2019

Kevin J. Page, Chairman
Nevada Board of Regents
4300 S. Maryland Pkwy.
Las Vegas, NV 89119

Thom Reilly, Chancellor
Nevada System of Higher Education
4300 S. Maryland Pkwy.
Las Vegas, NV 89119

Dear Chairman Page and Chancellor Reilly,

As you are aware, our federal government is struggling with challenging fiscal issues and the partial shutdown that, unfortunately, are currently impacting more than 800,000 federal employees who do not know if they will receive a paycheck in the foreseeable future. Many are struggling to pay for basic necessities, including food and rent, and of the fundamental expenses necessary to support themselves and their children. For many families, these expenses include college tuition. Here in Nevada, we have more than 3,000 federal workers potentially impacted, and many of these individuals may be attending or have children attending our institutions within the Nevada System of Education (NSHE). With the start of the 2019 spring semester, students are enrolled and preparing to attend classes but may not know if they will be able to attend because they cannot pay their fees as a result of the shutdown.

As a former Regent, I know you share my concern for any of our students who were relying on the federal paycheck for the upcoming semester and are now struggling to find a way to pay their fees before the semester starts. Recognizing that deadlines to access financial aid dollars for this semester generally have passed, I am asking that NSHE work these students for the spring semester to find a temporary solution to allow them to continue their education this semester uninterrupted. These students will be expected to pay the costs of their education, as originally planned before this period of uncertainty at the federal level; but I hope that our institutions can offer financial assistance to our students who indicate that they will otherwise need to withdraw from courses this semester due to these unforeseen circumstances.

I am available to discuss these immediate concerns raised by the federal shutdown with you and our institutional presidents, and also look forward to working with you in partnership going forward to support our students whose success is vital for Nevada’s growing workforce and promising future.

Sincerely,

Governor Steve Sisolak's signature
Governor Steve Sisolak

Contact

Christina Amestoy
Interim Communications Director